December 11, 2002


SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE LOTT: Trent Lott's latest attempt at apology, which I listened to on Hannity in the car today, was deeply unsatisfying. I had the same thought as Stephen Green and Michele of A Small Victory did-- he seemed to be saying "some of my best friends are black." More fundamentally, he went off on lots of strange, unconvincing tangents. (Arthur Silber notes most of them.) "Defense was a big issue in 1948?" So that's what Thurmond walked out of the Democratic convention over! My reading of history was so blinkered! Thanks, Trent!

He said that he's kidded with Thurmond about the presidential run for years, when he says Thurmond should have won, it always brings a smile to Ol' Strom's face. Lott actually said at one point in the interview, "What am I gonna say, he should have lost?" Well, yes. Or don't bring it up.

I can't look into Trent Lott's soul. I don't know if he's a racist. (James Taranto's "Dixiecrat Lite" thesis seems pretty sound.) But the fact is, fairly or unfairly, he will now be widely perceived as a racist. One illustrative slice of the zeitgeist:

A hospital was dedicated in Chicago today; I caught part of the ceremony on CLTV, the local news channel (yes, we have a 24-hour channel for local news). There were many black politicians there, and one of them got some good laughs joking that he "invited Trent Lott, but he couldn't make it."

The only way to hush this chorus-- or at least to keep it from staining too indelibly Republicans at large-- is for Lott to go.

Posted by John Tabin at December 11, 2002 07:00 PM